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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

Feb. 7, 2011 - Net Worth

By T. Ray Rachels

A friend shared with me these great words: “The real measure of your wealth is how much you would be worth if you lost all your money.”

The Christ-centered assumption behind this wisdom is that a successful person is one who is building, during his lifetime, a personal cache of godly living that overshadows money.

At the turn of this year, while thinking of my own mortality and that flickering candle James calls “life,” I jotted down a partial list of things that seem important if my real net worth is to trump my bank account.

(1) Develop a habit of making choices that have right on their side. The gap between right and wrong in our culture’s perception is closing. Boundaries are obscured by the “situation.” God’s wisdom is needed to clarify issues, and then we need the courage to make the right call.

(2) Believe the best about people. There are enough disappointments in life without expecting that a huckster is waiting for you around every corner. Not everybody on the road will cut you off. Not all your neighbors will harass you. People will smile back. The Golden Rule is a good fit for all our pockets.

(3) Read good books. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. It grows stronger by exercise. Language and ideas hold great joy, and there is fulfillment and wonder waiting to be explored in good literature! Fill your mind with the thoughts of great and godly thinkers. Become larger than yourself.

(4) Press for healthy conversation. Gossip and condemnation are emotional killers. They are chains that will imprison your spirit. Every conversation needs filtering through Philippians 4:8: “You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” (The Message).

(5) Honesty is always the best policy. The only antidote I know for this world’s dishonesty and shadowy spin is truth. If you tell the truth, you’ll never need to remember what you said. Repairing broken trust is some of the hardest work you’ll ever do!

(6) Commitment and sacrifice bring great reward. The pleasure that comes from preparing yourself well, giving your best effort, and following through on your work, will bring you satisfaction at its best.

(7) Giving loyalty to my family and friends is a treasured value. Failure happens. Help people up when they’re down. Stand by them when they’re unsure. Love them for no other reason than they are loved by God. The hymn “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go” has such power because in the singing of it I am aware of God’s unfailing and determined care for me. In similar ways, the extension of care between myself and others is woven tightest when not tied to personal whims or unrealistic expectations.

(8) I could be wrong. Infallibility belongs exclusively to God. I’m prone to weakness and error. Even at times when I may be right, I need to be careful about insisting on my rightness when, or if, it would inappropriately hurt others.

(9) Think generosity in everything. You reap what you sow. One of nature’s most stunning gifts is wrapped in an unusual package: The more I give away, the more that comes back to me. From milk cows to honey bees to a kernel of corn, the law of the harvest works. Why, then, should I think that hoarding and minimizing works best for me? It doesn’t. “What I have I lose, what I lose I have” is a mystery locked away for discovery.

(10) Use time effectively. Careless distractions will kill your dreams of personal fulfillment. Learning a trade takes concentration and routine. A college degree takes years of disciplined study. Making money or living a good life requires regularly putting first things first. Squandering time wastes a resource that can never be recovered. God has equally distributed time to every one of us.

(11) Most importantly and foundationally, I want to love God more. All the parts of my life are enriched by God’s presence. The stress and stumbles that come with the jerks and turns of my life journey need His guiding hand. God knows me well but still loves me. Someone with an eye for humorous reality said the trouble with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar. I need God’s help in staying put where He puts me. All other pursuits in life I put behind my pursuit of God. Jesus’ words in Matthew 6, that urge me to seek God’s kingdom first, are a perfect goal for the whole of my life. The reason, of course, is that it is a perfect way, God’s way, to enfold you and me into the safety of His love and care.

— T. Ray Rachels served as superintendent of the Southern California District of the Assemblies of God for more than 22 years.




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